How to Select the Best Hosting Option

for Revive Adserver

This article presents some considerations for selecting your best option to host your Revive Adserver system.

Once you’ve decided that you want to use Revive Adserver, the next important decision is: where and how do I host my Revive Adserver?

There are basically three options:

  • hosting it yourself on your own site or server
  • outsourcing to a hosting company
  • opening an account with Revive Adserver Hosted edition

Below, we will discuss all these options, and the pros and cons of each. As is so often the case, every situation will have its own characteristics, so there is no single right answer to the questions of where to host Revive Adserver. We hope that you will be able to make your own decision based on the information presented here.

Factors to keep in mind

When making the decision about where and how to host your Revive Adserver system, there are a number of factors to keep in mind: costs, flexibility, scalability, and peace of mind.

Nowadays, costs seem to be the only aspect that people consider. That’s understandable, because it’s very easy to quantify and compare them. It can be appealing to look for the least expensive solution in the short term, but in the long term that could result in unexpected expenses and worries.

Hosting Revive Adserver on your own site or server

Since Revive Adserver is a free open source system that can be downloaded from this website, it is easy to just download it and install it on your own server. If you consider going to self hosting or having it hosted by a specialist company, we recommend that you have an evaluation copy setup first, to get better acquainted with the software and its functionality. You could even consider first subscribing to the Revive Adserver Hosted edition, so that you can get a first peek without having to do any technical work yourself initially.

The costs for hosting your own Revive Adserver might be negligible, especially if you have plenty of disk space and bandwidth left in your hosting plan. If you know how to install a PHP/MySQL application, and are willing to follow the guidance in the installation instructions, you won’t be needing any help, which would provide great flexibility. You will need to take care of backups and upgrades yourself. When your site’s traffic begins to grow, so will the ad server, and that might result in a need for scaling. Setting up the ad server with scalability in mind is always a good idea. Hosting your own ad server does mean you will also be responsible for problem solving, recovering from failures, and generally will mean that you’re the one worrying about it. So peace of mind in this scenario will be low.

Hosting your own Revive Adserver is a good plan if you know your PHP and MySQL, are willing to spend a bit of time setting up and configuring the software, and are prepared and capable to perform updates at regular intervals. You should also have sufficient disk space and bandwidth in your hosting plan. If this sounds like too much of a burden, it might be wise to consider one of the other options mentioned below.

Outsourcing the hosting of Revive Adserver

Another option to consider is to outsource the hosting of your Revive Adserverto a company that specializes in hosting medium size or large PHP/MySQL applications. Just like with regular web or application hosting, there are numerous hosting providers that could provide this service, and picking the best one for your situation might not be an easy job.

Requires a specialist hosting provider

Revive Adserver is ‘just’ a PHP/MySQL application, but you might find that your usual hosting provider does not know the software or doesn’t know it well enough. If you intend to stay with the hosting provider that you know and trust, it might be a good idea bringing in a Revive Adserver expert to help you and your provider with the initial setup and configuration, and to be available for additional consulting afterwards. Most of the work involved in hosting Revive Adserver from a technical perspective has to do with fine tuning the hardware and operating system, web server, database server and network. Hosting providers should have these skills in house, it’s just the little bit of extra expertise about the specifics of Revive Adserverthat is missing.

If you ask for a quote from a hosting provider, they will probably not be able to formulate a price per 1 million ad impressions, especially if they don’t have experience running Revive Adserver. It is most likely that they will quote you for the server setup and the bandwidth. However, it might be hard to figure out how big a server you will need and how much bandwidth you will consume. For instance, the bandwidth will be different when you host the ads for your advertisers yourself versus a situation where the ads are actually hosted externally by the advertisers or their agencies. You will need to convert a cost per gigabyte of bandwidth into a cost per 1 million impressions. In some of the larger Revive Adserver systems we’ve seen around, we’ve found that the bandwidth needed can vary immensly.

You might be able to find providers that are willing to offer this kind of hosting for incredibly low prices. As said in the introduction, though, costs should not be the only factor in making a decision like this. When you work with an experienced and professional hosting provider, you should also be able to agree on the flexibility that is needed for your scenario, just like scalability. Outsourcing the hosting of any application should mean you also outsource the worrying about it, and that should result in peace of mind for you. If not, then you have probably not picked the best suited provider.

A trusted partner of the Revive Adserver project is Aqua Platform. This is a company that specializes 100% in the hosting of the Revive Adserver software. A large number of companies have migrated their previously self-hosted Revive Adserver installations to Aqua Platform. But there is also their Aqua Ad Server offering, which is a Software-as-a-Service solution with Revive Adserver at the core.

There are obviously other companies that can offer similar services. The reason we mention Aqua Platform here is because of their continued support for the Revive Adserver project over the past years.

Revive Adserver Hosted edition

If you want to use the Revive Adserver software, and support the open source project at the same time, then you might want to consider Revive Adserver Hosted edition. This is also a software-as-a-service (SaaS) offering, created and managed by the same people that maintain the Download edition. After costs, all proceeds from this service are used to support the open source project.

Even though costs shouldn’t really be your only consideration, it is still true that the Revive Adserver Hosted edition is very affordable. The smallest plan costs just $10 per month, allowing for up to 1 million ad requests per month. There is great flexibility, you can simply switch to a larger or smaller plan when your monthly activity volume grows or shrinks. You won’t have to even think about scalability, this is automatically taken care of because the Revive Adserver Hosted edition is hosted on top of the Aqua Platform we mentioned above. Every time a new version of the downloadable software is released, the Revive Adserver Hosted edition gets updated almost immediately, so you’ll have great peace of mind knowing that you’ll always be running the most recent and safest version of the software available.

Making your decision

Based on the options presented and discussed above, you will have to weigh all of the pros and cons and make your own decision. There is not a single decision that’s right for everyone or every situation.

One scenario is to start with hosting the ad server yourself, but configuring it in such a way that you have a growth path and are able to migrate to an outsourced solution in the future. That will give you the benefit of low costs in the short term, but also the flexibility to migrate to an outsourced situation in the long term and take care of the scalability requirements. Putting in a little bit of thinking and planning will give you peace of mind that you’ve made the right decision and are ready to meet the demands of your site’s growth if and when it happens.

Another scenario could be to first subscribe to the Revive Adserver Hosted edition and start small. Once you’ve gained some valuable hands-on experience using the software, you could always consider a self-hosted installation of the Revive Adserver Download edition. Just keep in mind that anything you do in Revive Adserver Hosted edition can never be exported. You’d have to start over in your own installation.